School Food


Emma W.

Kraemer’s cafeteria lines

When the lunch bell rings at Kraemer Middle School, chaos ensues. Hallways that once seemed serene and empty are cramped and flooded with students. Hurried footsteps dodge between bodies, stampeding their way across the quad, then stand in line, out of breath. All this commotion simply to get in line for school lunch.  At any middle school, Lunch is one of the most, if not the very most, anticipated moments of the day. But what is the actual substance of these school lunches? What are the students’ opinions, and what is the new initiation for school lunches in California? School lunch is a global program, varying for each region, but what is it at Kraemer Middle School?

School lunches serve the purpose of providing a nutritious meal for students, especially lower-income students, to get through the school day. The school lunches in the U.S are overseen by the NSLP, the National School Lunch Program. The meals served at schools are held to nutritional standards, striving for the correct balances of dairy, meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables. The National School Lunch Program ensures that the nation’s school lunches keep up with these nutritional guidelines. School districts decide on the lunches prepared throughout the area, so the lunches vary in different regions. Whether it be a pulled pork sandwich or beef tacos, all are approved by the National School Lunch Program and overseen by the school district.

Since school lunches have been around, students have always formed a strong opinion on the quality of food being served. But, the general consensus at Kraemer Middle school is that the food here has improved from elementary. 8th grader Estelle A. comments, “ The best food is either the pick-up-stix or the pizza.”, But although some meals please the students, others don’t. Student Julia W. says the worst meal served at Kraemer Middle School is the spicy chicken sandwich, describing it as a “lesser dino nugget,” saying the spice is “crusty and squishy”. Fortunately, Kraemer prepares a variety of meals for its community.

As of the 2021-2022 school year, California is providing and has provided free meals to its students. Lunches that previously cost around $2 are now free and accessible to all, regardless of family income or economic status. Has this initiation changed anything at Kraemer? How are students receiving this new program? With the new program in California, more students join the winding line around the quad walls to receive a free lunch. Despite being free, the quality of the food itself has not deteriorated, still keeping up with the nutritional guidelines and supplying a hearty meal for the students.

Kraemer Middle School is one of the most diverse middle schools in the PYLUSD school district. With a good percentage of the school population eating school lunch, finding ways to serve that group daily is a very demanding task. PYLUSD and Kraemer have done an excellent job in consistently feeding our students five days a week.